Loss Aversion and Reference Points in Contracts
AbstractLoss aversion has become the dominant alternative to expected utility theory for modeling choice under uncertainty. The setting of the base payment in contracts provides an interesting application of referenced based decision theory. The impact of loss aversion on contract structure depends critically on whether reservation opportunities (outside options) are evaluated with respect to the reference point implied in the contract. We show that when reservation opportunities are independent of the reference point, reward contracts are optimal. However, when reservation opportunities are evaluated against the reference point, then penalty contracts are more efficient.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by SCC-76: Economics and Management of Risk in Agriculture and Natural Resources in its series SCC-76 Meeting, March 31-April 2, 2005, Myrtle Beach, SC with number 28727.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Risk and Uncertainty; L14; D81; D21; D82;
Other versions of this item:
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
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Staff General Research Papers
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